1991 Meritorious Service Award

James I. Kennedy, Russellville

Jim Kennedy is well known and respected throughout the dairy industry by virtue of his long and fruitful tenure as Executive Secretary of the State Milk Board.

He was born at Gideon, MO in 1930. His parents were dairy and mixed row crop farmers in S.E. MO. He graduated from Gideon High School in 1949 and served four years of active duty in the U.S. Air Force. In 1950 he was married to Mary Johanna Edwards of Gideon. He graduated University of Missouri in 1957, majoring in dairy science and received a Masters Degree in Dairy Science in 1958. In 1958 he was employed as a sanitarian by the Missouri Division of Health, Jefferson City. It was the start of a broad range of public health responsibility since his duties involved a broad spectrum of food producers and services. In 1966 he was transferred to the Central Office, Division of Health where he was certified as a Milk Sanitation Survey Officer for the state. In this position he became known for thoroughness and fairness in administering milk regulatory provisions. In 1973 he was appointed to his present position as Executive Secretary of the Missouri State Milk Board.

One of his first tasks in this position was the establishment of the State Milk Board as a new state agency. Under his guidance the state’s new fluid milk law became effective August 1, 1973. During the ensuing years he has successfully guided he State Milk Board through numerous problems and legislative sessions. The State Milk Board IS now a part of the State Department of Agriculture. Mr. Kennedy has established a reputation for a strong milk sanitation program in Missouri and for giving due consideration to all parties concerned.

His leadership in the area of milk sanitation and public health is well recognized. He has served as an officer and in many cases as chairman including: Member and Past President – Missouri Agriculture Leaders; Secretary-Treasurer Missouri Mastitis Council; Member and Executive Board – Council on Interstate Milk Shipments; Past President Missouri Public Health Association; Member International Association of Milk, Food and Environmental Sanitarians since 1959 and President 1966-67 of the Missouri Milk, Food and Environmental Health Association. In 1990 he received the “Outstanding Administrator Award” from the National Association of Department of State Departments of Agriculture; the same year the “Sanitarian of the Year” Award from the Missouri Dairy Fieldmen and Sanitarians Association. In 1991 he was nationally recognized by the International Association of Milk Food and Sanitarians with “Sanitarian of the Year Award”. In addition to administering an excellent milk sanitation program for Missouri Mr. Kennedy has served in the Air Force Reserves for 35 years.

Jim and his wife Johanna have three children and five grandchildren. He and Mrs. Kennedy are members of the Russellville Baptist Church. He is a past master of the Russellville Masonic Lodge and a 34-year member of the American Legion where he serves as a Board Member.